Fearless Billy back to bolster Jets
THE Ipswich Jets revealed the final piece to their premiership puzzle at the club's season launch.
Powerhouse performer Billy McConnachie is back.
The Jets season launch was held at the RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre on Friday night and the players looked at home among the aircraft, after which they are named.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd and Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Jets co-coach Ben Walker announced McConnachie would be returning to the green and white.
Nicknamed "Madness'' for his aggressive running style, McConnachie signed with the Brisbane Broncos for 2016 after joining the West Tigers in the off-season.
Along with fellow Jets teammate Rod Griffin, the former Ipswich City Council concreter had singed a one year deal with the Tigers but was granted a release to join the Broncos.
With plenty of front rowers already at the Broncos, the move means the Mount Isa product will be available to play for the Jets this season.
Walker said the move was a massive win for the Jets and the giant forward.
"He'll be employed full-time at the Broncos and get the full treatment in terms of training," Walker said.
"Billy was a huge part of the team last year and it will be fantastic to have him back."
With a young family in Ipswich, McConnachie will welcome the return north.
"Billy only recently became a father to a little baby girl so I'm sure he wants to be back here at home," Walker said.
"It would have been tough in Sydney so it's great that he has gotten the opportunity with Brisbane."
The enforcer helped lead the Jets to Intrust Super Cup grand final glory last year with a man-of-the-match performance over the Townsville Blackhawks.
Walker said a full pre-season training with the Tigers had left the 25-year-old in better shape than ever.
"We saw that with (Matt) Parcell when he was at the Broncos, he benefited so much from having the extra training there," he said.
"It's a different level of training when you are full-time and Billy should come back even stronger and fitter than he was last year."
The Jets hope to have McConnachie back in the squad for their Round 1 clash with Norths on Saturday.
At the launch Jets chairman Steve Johnson praised the Walker brothers for their dedication to the club that had paid dividends in 2015.
"We set out to change our culture, not to win trophies but to win hearts," Johnson said.
"The one element that has to be strong to embrace and drive change to be better is culture."
- The 2016 Intrust Super Cup begins on Saturday when the Jets host the Norths Devils at North Ipswich Reserve from 3.15pm.